We caught up with florists Katie Smyth and Terri Chandler for some festive floral tips from their book, Wreaths. Try them yourself, and discover their picks from our Christmas flower range
“Making a wreath is a really lovely project to do as a family, with everyone putting in something that they’ll be proud to come home to every day during the festive season”
Katie Smyth, a former stylist, and Terri Chandler, an actor, founded London florist Worm in 2016. “Neither of us were feeling very fulfilled in what we were doing, so we followed our love of flowers,” Terri says. “We started out by taking a flower course, then slowly began doing flowers for restaurants and small weddings. M&S was actually one of the first companies to hire us for an event.”
They now create stunning floral arrangements for M&S press shows, as well as weddings and other events. “The pressure is always on to make every year at the M&S show that little bit more impressive. The team comes to us with initial ideas, and we work collaboratively to create a design based on the season and the collection – last autumn, it was a magical purple affair.”
In their debut book, Wreaths, Katie and Terri share expert tips for creating professional-looking arrangements in your own home. They come in particularly handy
when it comes to decking the halls for the Christmas season. “Taking time out to create something for yourself is the most rewarding feeling,” says Katie. “Challenging yourself to make something out of a few stems from your garden or gathered while out for a walk brings such satisfaction, and a little bit of nature’s beauty into your own home.”
Try Katie and Terri’s festive ideas from their book, below, and don’t forget to order some beautiful ready-made arrangements from our online range, too. “We’d pick this natural-themed bouquet for its simplicity and beautiful smell,” says Terri. “Cyclamen are another of our winter favourites, and poinsettia are such nostalgic, festive plants.”
Wreaths by Katie Smyth and Terri Chandler, published by Quadrille (£14.99). Photography by Kristin Perers
“These wreaths add a little elegance and uniqueness to a gift and, rather than being recycled with the rest of the Christmas wrapping, they can be hung on a window or door”
One plant vine, the circumference you want your wreath to be
1 piece of clematis vine, 50cm in length, for the wreath base
5 stems of dried heather or lavender
To make a basic wreath, begin by binding the vine into the size you want the wreath to be, then start to weave the vine around itself once or twice to form a rough circle shape.
Using twine, tie the vine together tightly at three or four points around the circle. Weave in the end to conceal it and stop it from poking out, then snip off any excess twine.
Cut the pieces of dried heather or other dried flowers into lengths of 10-12.5cm.
Starting on one side and working clockwise, feed the stems through the wreath structure – this should be tight enough to keep them in place.
Cut off any excess foliage from the back of the wreath that may be visible from the front when it is lying flat.
Using a piece of twine, weave it in and out of the wreath and around the wrapped gift.
Simple olive and bronze wreath
“If you have a large space, such as a plain wall or landing, you could hang groups of wreaths together as festive party decorations”
1 clematis vine, 60cm in length, for the wreath base
3 wild nigella pods
4 small branches of cedar
4 branches of olive
Floral spraypaint in bronze or copper
2 x 1.5m pieces of thinly cut linen
Metallic bronze ribbon, 1m in length
First use a vine base to create a basic wreath as described above.
Tie the materials onto the wreath base using twine. The wreath should have a basic flow – this usually means that one side of the wreath is heavier with flowers and foliage than the other.
For extra sparkle, lightly spray the flat pine with bronze or copper spraypaint.
Once you are happy with the coverage you have, attach lengths of twine or strips of linen to your wreath to hang. It can be suspended from an existing beam or hung from hooks or screws in the ceiling or walls.
Once hung, finish the wreath with a length of bronze ribbon.